Three Observations From BYU’s 10th Win Of The Season

Dec 12, 2020, 11:38 PM | Updated: 11:49 pm
Zach Wilson throws a touchdown pass to Isaac Rex (Courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The 18th ranked BYU Cougars pulled away from the San Diego State Aztecs in the fourth quarter winning 28-14.

In their first ever December home game at Lavell Edwards Stadium, BYU clinched a 10 win season. It’s been nine years since they achieved that feat.

Strength of schedule aside, that’s a remarkable accomplishment during a pandemic when the season was almost lost back in August.

This team will be remembered for being the only team out West willing to play football when everyone else cancelled their seasons. Their focus and preparation during difficult times has been impressive.

Here are my three observations from a bone chilling night in Provo.

1. 3,000 yards passing

Zach Wilson eclipsed the 3,000 yard mark on the opening drive for BYU that resulted in a touchdown pass to Dax Milne.

It’s remarkable the improvement shown by Wilson this season. If he wants, an NFL career is waiting for him.

Wilson threw his 30th touchdown pass of the game in the fourth quarter to tight end Isaac Rex who caught his 10th touchdown of the year.

Offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes and quarterback coach Aaron Roderick deserve a lot of credit in helping Wilson develop into an NFL prospect.

They tailored the offense to his abilities and unlocked one of the most explosive offensives in the country.

Wilson threw a touchdown pass in every game this season. That hasn’t been achieved since Max Hall.

His full repertoire was on display against the Aztecs. He threw beautiful deep passes, accurate intermediate throws, and even a Patrick Mahomes-esque flip pass to Lopini Katoa on an option play.

If this was his last game at Lavell Edwards Stadium, he finished on a high note.

2. Jake Oldroyd leg strength

Lou Groza semi-finalist kicker Jake Oldroyd kicked a frozen pigskin 50 yards to give the Cougars a half-time lead 17-14.

Oldroyd has been a weapon this season. He’s perfect on the year, making all 13 of his field goal attempts.

If he had more made kicks, I think he wins the Lou Groza award. He’s been that good this season.

He’ll be a huge asset next year against stiffer competition. The ability to get points when moving the football within the opponents 35 yard line is a real advantage.

This team has several walk-ons who became excellent college players. Oldroyd has a chance to be remembered as one of the best when his career is over.

3. Neil Pau’u career high

Gunner Romney was unavailable after taking a big shot on the final drive against Coastal Carolina.

The Cougar passing attack didn’t skip a beat. That’s a huge compliment to wide receiver coach Fesi Sitake and the development of the receivers on this team.

Neil Pau’u filled the role left by Romney while hauling in eight passes for a career high 117 yards.

He’s taken his game to another level over the past month, catching 19 passes over a four game span.

It’s scary to think how good this offense could be Next season if everyone returns. That’s a giant if, but it’s possible.

In the meantime, it’s worth appreciating how good this offense has been in 2020. They restored hope that BYU football could have a high-octane passing attack.

You can hear Matt Baiamonte every Saturday on KSL Newsradio for Cougar Sports Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or you can find him on Twitter here.


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